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Eric's Mulholland Maiden

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Hello Everyone! My name is Eric and I’ve been procrastinating from doing a profile thread for close to 7 years now. Enough is enough!

After 7 years of tooling around this site, I’ve finally decide to create build profile for my ‘04 GT 5 speed. Instead of show you how it looks rights now, I’ll give you the story and the progression over the years. Why? Cause it’s still in progress, that’s why!!

I bought it in August of 2007 when I was 18 as a graduation gift to myself (though my parents paid 5k of it). We paid a total of $13,600.00 when it had 36,000 miles on clock. Now that’s rip I know, but back then I had no idea what I was doing or anything about these cars. For a car that looked as great as it did, with a v6 engine and a proper manual gearbox, I was stoked.

In the following year (2008) I performed/obtained the following mods:

Paint the brake calipers red
New Tuscani badges
Carbon mission plate
Red-out tail lights and doors lights
Black painted headlight housings
Diode Dynamics CCLF Angle Eyes

And then came some light performance mods. I started off with an EvoFusion Second generation Cat-back exhaust. Wish I still had pictures of it when I received it…it was beautiful. Oh well. The install went smoothly and provided a noticeable gain in mid-range torque. It was right around now that the paint started fading really badly. Damn that Korean clear coat!

I also installed an ARK 23mm rear sway bar. That was great for a while, but unfortunately it broke the rear sway bar end link tab on the passenger side shock. Snapped it clean off during a…spirited drive through the local mountains. I didn’t want to weld it back because it was already welded to begin with. I figured if I’m gonna spend…

I’m gonna spend it WELL!

ARK ST-P coilovers.

I wish I had gotten DT-P’s, but college has this funny habit of draining your bank account. I rented a lift in my uncle’s shop and installed everything on my own. It took the whole day to dial the ride height and spring pre-load to where I was happy, but it was worth it and a great learning experience. Once I aligned it, it was like night and day. By far the best modification I’ve done to date. From there I have been running it and dialing it in ever since…it NEVER ends. My current setup allows for an approx. 1.25 inch drop, with spring pre-loads of 201mm in the front and 203mm in the rear. This is considerably softer than I originally had it. In fact there’s not much more I can soften the preload in the rear. This has been a very successful setup. A soft spring setting may allow for more roll, but it also allows for more mechanical grip on a per wheel basis. This has allowed me to keep grip levels up in the front while at the same time, using the dampers to maintain control over rolling rate and overall chassis response. It strikes a nice balance for daily commutes into LA and the valley as well. Dampening is adjusted to what I’m feeling at the time, but usually anywhere from 2 to 5 clicks. Aahhh the low…

By this time I had been bitten by the bug and succumbed to its effects. By the time I had graduated with my undergrad in 2012 the car had under gone more cosmetic changes as well as few more performance modifications. I got rid of the old Angel eye equipped GK headlights and opted for some new ones from an F/L.

I also decided to do away with the crappy Nexen 3000’s that came with the car. Had some used Hankook ventus for a while, but tore through them real quick. That tends to happen on roads like this. (Cookie to whoever identifies this road)

I then had a set of the Hankook K110 V12 Evos. Loved those, but killed them too in two years. Stepped it up to Continental DW’s and WOW! Sticky, consistent, predictable and silent for not much more money. Great tire.

August 2012 saw me driving up the 5 to Lake Tahoe for some partying and drinking. Unfortunately, the drive up saw this…

I had stopped for fuel and when I pulled the nozzle from the inlet, the handle caught on the fuel door and ripped it clean off! Now, everyone complains about the paint/clear coat on these parts being really horrible (and I agree) but after this, I just wanted the damn thing to stay on! At highway speeds the fuel door would come off and flap along in the wind. I drove 550 miles more before finally getting home 2 days later and ordering a new one.
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Up until this point, I had been making the most of a poor budget, but after being hired with a big boy job right out of college, things started looking up. So, I placed an order…

After much deliberation, I decided on ASA GT-5’s in 17x8, 42 offset. I ordered another set of Continental DW’s to wrap them in; this time in 225/45/17. I had these tires on my stock wheels and loved them, so I bought another set to see what the difference in sizes would yield. The whole setup cost me $1281.00 shipped to my door from
That’s a difference alright…

It was exactly what the car needed! (That’s NOT me in the background, BTW)
From there on, I started getting a little picky with the changes I would make; in particular with the suspension. Living less than 5 miles from the infamous Mulholland highway (did you guess right?) and all the other brilliant canyons surrounding the Santa Monica Mountains, the car absolutely had to handle. In order to optimize the contract patch of the front tires and battle the understeer, I ordered a pair camber bolts from Ingalls. I installed them the week before the wheels and tires arrived so that the $100 alignment wouldn’t be wasted. I set the camber to -1.2 degrees in the front and all I can say is...WOW!!! What a difference!!! I knew it would feel better, but that that much! The grip bias is totally front dominant now; good for an FF car. Steering felt better too! More responsive with less input required. Completely changed the way the car handled and gripped. For $45, these little cammed bolts are easily at the top of my “Top Ten Reasonably Priced Mods” list.

I also installed a set of these around the same time…

EBC YellowStuff pads with R1 Premium rotors! I love these things. I had the Redstuffs prior and liked them too, but they quickly become useless once I scorched them one too many times. Still lasted a good two years though. The YellowStuffs however, are a league above. These are, by a mile, the best all-around pads I’ve ever come in contact with. They may not stop as hard as Hawk HP +, but when used in tandem with a good set of stainless steel brake lines (like the ones I got from stoptech) they are more consistent, they have better feel and release characteristics, strong initial cold bite and feel, last longer and are completely silent! I love these pads!

At $85 for a front set of pads and $115 for a 4-wheel set of Stoptech lines, both these mods also make my list of “Top Ten Reasonably Priced Mods.”

In addition, I wanted the car to have unique touches; the kind of thing that really shows the love and custom effort….

It’s a little hard to see in pictures, but yes, that’s a custom stitched roof liner. The process was long and tedious. After taking the headliner out of the car, it took me an additional 20 man hours and lots of foolish, bloody finger punctures with a needle to get the stitching done in a quality manor.

This started my interior theme of black with red stitching. I got my hands on some SE leather door panels as well as a leather shift boot, Redline Goods center arm rest and a custom gauge shroud in the same style.

(2013) Seat Reupholstering. This was probably one of my favorite changes I made to the car. I always hated the gritty, black and grey cloth seats that came in the car. The SE leather from the ‘07 tibs was like eye candy to me, so when I found a set for sale in the FS section, I had to jump on it. I bought the leather skins from YZrider143, and shortly after, these were waiting for me at home.

Great! Now for the hard part. Time to remove the seats from the car, tear them apart, and reupholster them. This was beyond tedious. Since I needed to get to work, I had to only do one seat at a time so I could still drive the car. Even still, taking the seats chassis apart was pretty simple. I just followed the DIY on this site. The downside: I broke one of the seat backs. That sucked.

The skins come right off once you get all the clips off. But now comes the really hard part. These damn hog rings are everywhere, and they are even harder to get back on once you fit the new leather. There is no clip on and off. You have to bend the metal using pliers or a screwdriver. Bane of my existence these things were…

Fortunately, once you get the technique down, it’s not that hard a task. After a few minutes of swearing, the skins came right off.

As do the cushions themselves…

Do everything in reverse and WAHLA!

Absolutely gorgeous. You can see where I broke the top of the plastic backing on this one....and there's a kitty. : )

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They look great in the car, but somethings bugging me. That damn broken backing has got to go!! Originally I had wanted to wrap them in carbon fiber, but threw out that idea because of the air bags. The backings are designed to break away when the airbags deploy. Turning those into a solid shell could possibly compromise safety by redirecting the airbag into my back instead of outward. I still wanted to cover up that ugly plastic though, so…I compromised and used some CF vinyl from 3M. One 3x3 sheet covers the entire seatback. I’m not one to fake things, but this looked sweet so I kept it. Nuff said. They almost look real in this picture…

Shortly after, I bought a red leather OEM 5 speed knob to top it all off.

And now comes the part of our story that gets a little bit sad…
In February 2013, while leaving the parking lot at work in Van Nuys, some bloke and I collided with each other. I was reversing and he was driving through the lot. Despite looking both ways, I wasn’t thorough enough and I didn’t see him coming. Well, we hit and it sucked. Technically my fault = double suck.

The security guard who witnessed it said that he thought the other guy was speeding, but it’s private property so that basically counts for nothing. Here’s a close up of the damage. If the paint looks new, that’s ‘cause it is. Remember how the paint was fading before? I bit the bullet and had the rear end painted not even a month prior. ….Ballz.

Fortunately, there was a bright side. AAA would pay for a new rear end, and the other guy had got it worse than me!!! MWAHAHAA!! Two weeks later and she was good as new.

That was only the beginning. The next week, my radiator started cracking and spitting coolant everywhere. What’s one to do!?

That’s a Koyo all aluminum dual core radiator. I absolutely love this thing! Fit and finish is perfect. It’s beautiful, allows for mounting of the original fans, and unlike the Mishimoto, requires no modifying or grinding to fit. It’s a perfect OEM replacement. Installation was not bad, but was a bit of a squeeze due to the size of the core. Totally worth it though. We installed a new thermostat and hoses as well.

We pulled the hoses off, opened the top cap to drain the sucker and waited…about 10 seconds. Lol. This is all the coolant that came out….about a quart and a half with a dash of leaves!

I was surprised. I knew I had lost coolant, but not THAT much! The car hadn’t even over heated once while driving home. Must’ve been the cold weather?
Here’s the KOYORAD in comparison to the OEM.

All done! I can’t tell you how much I love this thing. On cold nights cruising home down the mountain, if I put the car in neutral and coast the temperature gauge falls like a stone! I’ve seen it as low as 150 F!! For $less than $350.00, this mod makes the cut for my list of “Top Ten Reasonably Priced Mods.”

So that was one battle over. The NEXT week, the fuel return line blew on the 101 and the car nearly went up in smoke!! The fire department had to show up before I could have the car towed! Oye…

Then two weeks later, in the same lot as before, a utility truck hit my car while backing up…and then ran for it. When I came outside for lunch, I found this…

I freaked out at first because I thought maybe my brand new radiator was damaged, but that fear faded when I got up close. Then I freaked out for real! A few calls to AAA and the body shop I used to work at and a new FL front end was soon to be!!

If only I could avoid other people for the time being…

Seriously!? A third hit in the same lot in the same month?! Turns out it was the new valet that did it. Problem is, they pack up and leave the campus after 6pm. I filed a report, to which they basically said “since we were not here when you resumed procession of your car, we don’t claim responsibility.” Basically gave me the big F U. So instead of calling up AAA and paying ANOTHER $250 deductible, I called up a friend who works at a body shop. We pulled that sucker out for the most part, but it’s still slightly visible. A small reminder of my utter hatred for valets. My anger was soon forgotten though, as the car soon underwent the FL conversion.

In an attempt to make it look a bit different, I added this GT badge from the Elantra. Complete. Satisfaction.
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This past summer of 2013, I noticed that my rear trans mount was torn quite badly. So, after patrolling the for-sale thread, I acquired a set of kspec motor mounts from two separate members here on NT. The rear is a full poly solid mount, unlike the front which is hollow polyurethane. The yellow insert in the picture was sold later. These really helped a lot. Contrary to popular belief and advertising, these do not put more power to the ground, but they do significantly change the way the engine responds to your imputes. Shifting feels a lot more direct than before with the torn mount and the throttle response is fabulous. At the same time, I also installed some polyurethane shifter cable bushings and TWM shifter base bushings. Highly recommended, especially for the price. All three of these are included on my list of “Top Ten Reasonably Priced Mods.”

That's all I have for now, but I will be updating periodically with new updates. I have many new pieces that are pending installation, so as soon as they're on Ill update this thread.

Here's a complete list of the modifications to date (3/6/2014)


- FL Front end conversion bumper (missing fog lights for future ducting)
- FL conversion head lights
- OEM badging removal / “Tuscani” badges
- Tail light signal red-outs
- ASA GT-5 wheels (17x8. 42 offset)
- Black painted rear diffusor


- Tinted door lights
- GT leather door inserts
- Aluminum A/C rings and pedals
- “Tuscani” ignition ring
- Carbon Fiber mission plate
- SE OEM Red leather shift knob
- Black leather, red stitched shift boot
- Redline Goods leather center armrest
- 07 SE Red/Black leather seats (Front and Rear)
- 3M 1080 Carbon Fiber vinyl seat backs
- Custom red stitched roof liner
- Custom black leather, red stitched gauge shroud
- Pioneer DEH 4400 HD Stereo deck w/ Rocketfish light-up USB cable (Cheesy, but still cool! Lol)


- KOYORAD Aluminum Dual Core Radiator
- Ebay Cold Air Intake
- Evofusion 2nd generation cat-back dual exhaust
- Kspec polyurethane front/rear engine/trans. mounts
- Polyurethane shifter cable bushings
-TWM shifter base bushings
- Ultra Racing front strut bar
- LUXON rear chassis brace
- ARK ST-P coilovers
- Moog tie rod ends
- Moog front end links
- Nolathane Australia Front Control Arm Polyurethane Bushings
- OEM fully adjustable rear control arm setup w/ Ya-Ya Polyurethane Control Arm Bushings
- 19mm Rear Sway Bar OEM Upgrade
- Energy Suspension polyurethane sway bar bushings
- Ingalls camber bolts (front)
- ASA 17x8 wheels w/ 225/45/17 tires
- Stoptech slotted brake rotors (front/rear)
- EBC YellowStuff brake pads (front/rear)
- Stoptech stainless steel brake lines (front/rear)
- Castrol GT-LMA DOT 4 brake fluid
- Custom rotor mounted brake ducting

“Top Ten List of Reasonably Priced Mods.”

- Ingalls Camber Bolts <-- Allows for vastly increased lateral tire grip.
- Ebay Cold Air Intake <-- Opens up the restrictive intake system for more powa!
- EBC YellowStuff brake pads <-- Ups the stopping power and endurance of your OEM brakes
- Polyurethane Motor Mounts <-- Minimizes engine and trans movement under all conditions.
- Polyurethane shifter cable bushings <-- Reduces slop in the shifter for more connected shifts.
- TWM Aluminum shifter base bushings <-- Further improves the gated feeling in the gear shift .
- Stoptech stainless steel brake lines <-- Allows for better brake pedal feel.
- KOYORAD Aluminum Dual Core Radiator <-- Much more effective cooling and looks [email protected]$$ under hood.
- 19mm Rear Sway Bar OEM Upgrade <-- Cheap, simple mod to improve balance and handling.
- LUXON rear chassis brace <-- Drastically increases torsional stiffness in the rear of the car.

Future Modifications
- New front control arms with new bushings and ball joints

These bad boys are going to get some new spice added as well. I wanted Ya-Ya’s suspension kit, but they are no longer in production. Happily, these are still being made in Australia and are even better quality than the Ya-Ya’s!

At deck for the rear, we have OEM adjustable control arms that will also be adorned with poly bushings. I'm replacing the old solid control arms because one of them is slightly tweaked and is causing alignment issues. Putting in another pair of adjustables will allow me a full range of adjustability in the rear. In addition, the poly bushings that iIll be using ARE from the Ya-Ya kit. I got them from @Elricdelyon in France. His sweet build is getting Ingalls smart arms, so he didn’t need the rear bushing as they don’t fit the Ingalls arms. Fine by me!

I’ve also got an UltraRacing four point underbrace stashed away along with another set of R1 rotors and YellowStuff pads. I can’t wait to get all of this stuff in and get (another) alignment! I'll probably order am Ultraracing rear strut bar sometime down the road because the Mussa one is...less than desirable.

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Last but not least, here are the most current pictures I have of my tib. Enjoy!

Not a current pic, but I had to include this one.
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Awesome thread, was a very good read :) Way to mod it right dude!
Definitely a good read. I love the stitching you did and the seat modifications. I like how you made subtle changes that reflect your own individual taste. +1 for you.
Great thread Eric!! I'm going to take some of your advice on your top ten mods. Some of those things I really need to do, but as you know, college is a money soaker.

Glad I could accompany your beauty in some of those shots! They look great together!
what an awesome build! keep up the good work!:thumbup:
Fantastic progress through the years. Clean, tasteful, and strategic modding is something I truly admire and appreciate.

I know the college budget struggle myself. It sure was a pain!

I'll be keeping my eye on this thread for updates!
Nice ! Glad to hear you received the rear control arm bushings :)
Great thread Eric!! I'm going to take some of your advice on your top ten mods. Some of those things I really need to do, but as you know, college is a money soaker.

Glad I could accompany your beauty in some of those shots! They look great together!
Thanks Joey! They sure do huh? Hopefully I can get everything done in time for this GMR meet you've got planned! I need new tires as well. I've been driving on cord for the past two weeks. Lol
Great thread. I didnt realize you had that much stuff. Spotted my car in a pic too. Hope you make it out to gmr
Great build!...and from my old stomping grounds to boot!

Have you considered the Ultra Racing room bar/center brace (the one that attaches to the seat belt mounting points) and their rear brace (bracket)?

Also, are those Nolathane bushings the caster correcting ones or the regular ones? Is there a significant difference in feel, or would you say they primarily give you "piece of mind" that it isn't the pliable OEM rubber?
Great build!...and from my old stomping grounds to boot!

Have you considered the Ultra Racing room bar/center brace (the one that attaches to the seat belt mounting points) and their rear brace (bracket)?

Also, are those Nolathane bushings the caster correcting ones or the regular ones? Is there a significant difference in feel, or would you say they primarily give you "piece of mind" that it isn't the pliable OEM rubber?
Thanks. And yeah ive considered those, but this is my daily and the room bar would just get in the way. I stuff a lot of stuff behind my front seats. As the for the rear brace...I'm thinking about it. Not many reviews on them yet and ultra racing has been known to have fitment issues with new products. I think I saw a thread last year from a member who tried it and had trouble getting it on right.

The nolathane bushings I have are the standard ones, but you can get caster correcting ones for about the same price. I haven't put them on yet so I don't know how they'll feel. I'm betting they'll feel better than the torn to s**t ones that are currently on the car though! I can tell you this, I did a deflection test with a screwdriver and these are significantly firmer than the rubber ones.
There's some pictures of the rear brace install on my build thread if you are interested:

I had new lower arms with new OEM bushing installed over a year ago. I get so nervous every time my car goes up on a lift because the OEM rubber bushings are so pliable, they look like they will pop out of the hole just from the weight of the wheel/rotor assembly.
Just wanted to let you know, you have one NICE Tib! Keep it up!
You sir are doing it right! Read the whole story, and it's fantastic. I really appreciate the details like stitching the headliner.. neat! I like how you're keeping everything clean and tasteful too, and how dedicated you are to having a proper performance setup. Good stuff indeed.
Awesome thread. Your Tiburon looks sharp!. :thumbup:
Finally!! I've been wanting to see exactly what you have done to your suspension lol!!

Seriously, great thread Eric! Subscribed ;)

See ya soon!
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